It was just a typical school day for seven-year-old Decklan Hayward, who was having fun with friends. Suddenly, his mother got a call that no mother should ever have to receive, and the days following grew even more grim.
On Wednesday, July 19, 2023, Decklan Hayward was in deadly trouble. He was flown to the Westmead Children’s Hospital in Sydney.
Sadly, he did not survive, and on August 1, 2023, the 7-year-old’s family said goodbye to their little boy.In a bittersweet turn of events, his death managed to save the lives of four people.
After his passing, his family and the public praised Decklan for his heroic contribution to the lives of others, while the community offered their support to the grieving family.
A Bittersweet Goodbye to a Young Hero
“And anyone that knew him knew that he was… just so beautiful. He always worried about everyone else before himself.’”
Hayward shared a GoFundMe page on her Facebook account. She used it to ask the online community to donate and share the post, which pleaded for more money to help Declan’s parents hold a funeral for their late son.
The Tragic Circumstances That Lead to the 7-Year-Old’s Untimely Death
It was a regular day at school in Glenroi Heights Public in Orange, New South Wales. The young boy began choking on a cocktail Frankfurt during a lunch program geared towards promoting healthy eating for children, namely Crunch&Sip. As a result, he went into cardiac arrest, leaving his brain without any oxygen for almost half an hour. The aunt stated:
“Unfortunately, after eight days on life support my Sister Katie & Robbie have had to make a decision that no parent should ever have to & that is to let Our boy grow his wings & go with the angels.”
Through organ donation, the now-late Decklan saved the lives of four people. One of his organs went to another little boy who miraculously matched with Decklan, with the aunt emphasizing how rare such an occurrence is.
The Overwhelming Response to the Young Hero’s Passing
An article was shared on Facebook detailing the little boy’s tragic, yet bittersweet, passing with two pictures of Decklan — one showing him drinking a milkshake while smiling at the camera and another of him posing in front of a life-sized Hulk statue. The article received overwhelming sympathy, with most of the comments filled with condolences. One individual wrote:
“What a heartbreaking story for that little fellow and his family. Now they know their little boy is living on through their organ donation courage. RIP, little one.”
Another expressed that the incident is “every parent’s nightmare.” Another commenter stated that Declan’s death was an “unimaginable loss!!” This post received 159 reactions, most of which were likes, care emojis, and sad faces. The post has also been shared eight times.
The GoFundMe account that the aunt shared to assist the grieving parents with funeral arrangements received a resoundingly positive response. One woman going by Patricia Keane, who has just donated $AU20.00, wrote in the comments of the GoFundMe page:
“The kids will miss you, beautiful boy. May you grow your wings and fly high. From The Stevens-Keane Family xx.”
Two other donors sent hearts. Karen Herrmann, who donated AU$100 dollars, stated, “My heart goes out to you all,” While another donor penned, “Sending my love to your family, so sorry about your loss.” The top donation stands at AU$1000 so far, from Collins Clan, followed by two AU$500 donations and AU$450.
The Walk of Honor
The donation goal was set at $24,097, and with 500 donors, it is quite close to this target, standing at $20,000 and with more people still continuously donating. Kaylah has expressed how grateful she is to the community. The aunt wrote:
“The fact that my sister won’t have to stress about the price tag of anything and can just pick out whatever she wants for him and get everything he would have wanted means a lot.”
She continues to miss her nephew, whom she states received the Walk of Honor for his selfless act. But, the aunt takes the positive with the negative, saying: “The way we see it is, we may have lost him, but his heart is still beating.